Kreation Organic Juicery brings expanded healthy eating options to Westwood
Kreation Organic Juicery opened in Westwood Village on Friday. (Kanishka Mehra/Photo editor)
Feb. 14, 2021 10:27 a.m.
A Los Angeles-based healthy food chain opened a new location in Westwood Village on Friday.
Kreation Organic Juicery, which specializes in healthy smoothies, acai bowls and juices, is located on Westwood Boulevard, occupying a space previously occupied by the sandwich chain Jimmy John’s. The Westwood location will also offer packaged to-go food such as grain bowls and salads, as well as an avocado toast bar.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on businesses in Westwood, said Andrew Thomas, the executive director of the Westwood Village Improvement Association. Because UCLA’s campus and its medical center are less occupied than before the pandemic, foot traffic in Westwood Village has significantly dropped, and some businesses have been struggling to make rent payments, Thomas added.
“It’s really been about weathering the storm until we get back to some semblance of normal,” he said.
Despite hardships, Thomas said he is pleased to see that Kreation is willing to make an investment in the Westwood community, adding that he hopes this will lead the way for other businesses considering opening in Westwood.
“I think it is going to have great offerings that our visitors and patrons will enjoy,” he said. “But I’m also excited that it is here (in Westwood), and the message that delivers.”
Frank D’Andrea, a district manager for Kreation, said Kreation is excited to be in Westwood, and it hopes to become integrated with the UCLA community.
D’Andrea added that the COVID-19 pandemic did not slow down Kreation’s business because Kreation had originally operated primarily as a grab-and-go business and was not affected by LA’s bans on outdoor dining.
“We’ve been very very lucky because … everything is healthy (and) immune boosting,” he said. “People were coming in for immunity shots like crazy. So we were just lucky to be this type of business, and to have this type of model.”
Kreation, founded in 2007, now has more than 19 locations in LA.
Camille Schaefer, a third-year public affairs student and Kreation patron, said Kreation has a California vibe and attracts a health-conscious crowd. Schaefer added that she is excited to see new restaurants come to Westwood.
“Last year, I feel like I noticed there were so many vacancies, which seems so sad for a college town,” Schaefer said. “That just seems backwards. So I’m excited that it is coming.”
Avery Agosto, a third-year cognitive science student, also said in an emailed statement that she was excited to learn that Kreation was expanding to Westwood.
“There isn’t anything like it in Westwood and it will make a great addition to the community,” she said. “It’s always nice to have a healthy option that’s walking distance from campus.”
Agosto said she doesn’t think Kreation will struggle despite the low foot traffic in Westwood.
“I think opening during COVID won’t be a problem for Kreation because so many students are still living on and near campus,” she said in the statement. “I can’t speak for all students, but online school has put me into a very sedentary routine and walking to get coffee or a smoothie will really help to break up the school day.”